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Mastering Musical Theatre: a workshop with Layton Williams

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thanks to some energetic fun and expert advice from actor and Billy Elliot star Layton Williams, our first ever Musical Theatre workshop went down a storm! Taking place at Theatre Severn and arranged by University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), one of our masterclass attendees, Annalyse Corlyon-Goudeau, writes here how much she enjoyed the workshop and what she hopes to achieve from the experience.

“Recently I was given the great opportunity to attend a musical theatre workshop with the one and only, Layton Williams. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a massive musical theatre lover, so I knew it would be perfect for me, and I could hardly turn it down! 

Layton Williams has inspired me in a number of ways. Firstly he embraces the fact that he's a small town boy, who went to the big city and thrived off the experience. Layton's ability to make anything look easy (especially leaps, turns and kicks), all movements that I love, is also incredible and I’d certainly love to be as talented as him one day.

Obviously to get better at these movements, stretching is the way forward. During the workshop, Layton definitely pushed us all and corrected our stretching mistakes in order for us to feel the stretches better. Layton joked how we’d be "hating him" the following morning, and I can truthfully say he wasn’t kidding. I was still feeling it after a few days.

In terms of the masterclass, I honestly couldn't pinpoint one thing that I didn't love about it. From the warm up to the Hairspray repertoire work, to the Q&A session - where you found out a bit more of Layton's history and how he got to where he is today - it was just great!

Overall, the whole experience has taught me that working with lots of different people, all with different abilities, ages and experiences, is really important in order to develop myself. I have also learnt that it’s crucial to learn all different styles of dance and theatre, especially when having to pick phrases up quickly.

Layton Williams' workshop has made me love and appreciate musical theatre about ten times more than I already did. Thanks to his inspiration, I would say my own motivation and passion has strengthened, and I now know that I would love to pursue this as a career.”

UCS will be hosting a number of other exciting events over the coming year. They are a perfect introduction for those considering applying for our BA Musical Theatre. If you would like to be kept up-to-date with any of these events just email your name, preferred email address, year of entry and postal address to enquiries@ucshrewsbury.ac.uk.